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Garlic Lovers Baked Chicken Breasts
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, that have been pounded to even thickness and brined in saltwater (*see easy instructions below)
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted (I used Land O Lakes® Salted Butter in Half Sticks)
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
40 whole cloves garlic
Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
optional toppings: finely-chopped fresh parsley, freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, lemon slices
To brine your chicken breasts, simply fill a large bowl with 1 quart of warm water and 1/4 cup kosher salt. Stir to combine until most of the salt is absorbed. Add the chicken breasts and let them sit in the mixture to brine for 15 minutes. Or you can also also cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, rinse them with cold water, then pat them dry with some paper towels. (Again, though, if your chicken breasts are sold pre-brined in a sodium solution, skip this step.)
Heat oven to 450°F.
Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in a large baking dish.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the white wine, melted butter, lemon juice and thyme leaves until combined. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the mixture to a separate small bowl, and set aside. Add the garlic cloves to the large bowl, and toss until they are evenly coated with the butter mixture.
Pour the garlic and butter mixture into the dish with the chicken, and spread the garlic around so that it is nestled around (and not on top of) the chicken breasts. Pour the reserved tablespoon of the butter mixture evenly on top of the chicken breasts, and brush until they are evenly coated. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
Bake for 15-18* minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. If you use a cooking thermometer to measure the temperature thickest part of the breast, it should be between 160-170°F. (The FDA recommends 165°F.) *Or, if you want the chicken to be a little bit browned and crispier on top, you can turn the broiler on high for the final 3-5 minutes and broil the chicken until it is cooked through and extra browned on top. Keep a close eye on the chicken and garlic cloves so that they do not burn.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pan from the oven and loosely cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Let the chicken rest for at least 5-10 minutes.
Serve immediately, spooning the extra lemon-butter sauce spooned on top of the chicken, sprinkled with your desired garnishes.
View the original video here: Gimme Some Oven – Garlic Lovers Baked Chicken Breasts.